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marcgfx

Audio Debugging

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I am having a hard time getting my webaudio sound good. I am dealing with some cracking/popping and don't know what is the cause. I have a lot of sounds going off at the same time. I've tried dynamic range compression node, but this does not help. I've also reduced overall sound volume, but still it sounds weird. On some systems it even goes into a state where sound stops playing entirely for a short while. 

I was thinking it would be great if I could visualize the waveform in some way, but so far have not found anything. How do you deal with audio issues?

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It could still just be that you are playing too many loud sounds at once, maybe try reducing the volume in the source audio files rather than reducing it in code.

Another common cause of cracking/popping sounds is loops that don't quite loop properly, or have their start or end cut at non-zero amplitude. This is particularly noticeable with low frequency sounds, so as well checking they really do loop cleanly one trick is to eq a lot of the low frequency signal out of your source sounds. I did this just the other day one a game I've been working on to help eliminate pops I was hearing when the game ran on the iPad mini and it worked really well. You wouldn't really hear the low frequencies over the built in device speaker anyway.

You might also consider what audio format you are using, I realise you didn't specifically say that loops are a cause of the issue but if that were the case then maybe you are using mp3s? They don't loop properly and will sound glitchy due to inherent flaws in the format, switching to .ogg and .m4a will eliminate that particular problem.

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hey alex, thanks for your input :) . I am using ogg and I don't think the issue is caused by looping. It's mostly weird as it is not consistent popping and seems to randomly occur :( 

It could be too many loud sounds, or maybe low frequency removal could help. My sound knowledge is pretty limited, I guess a high pass filter would be the way to go?

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Yes, a hi pass filter would be ideal. Filter out as much as you can without compromising on the overall character of the sound. You should see the amplitude of the remaining waveform ends up much smaller. If its the summed volume of all your simultaneous sounds thats causing problems then that is a good thing!

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A compressor could also be a good idea, it really depends on what the sound content is. If the waveform has a few peaks that are much higher than the others then using a compressor would be a good way to level those out, they could be potential causes of runtime pops and clicks. But I would still suggest doing so via using a wave editor like adobe audition to modify the source audio file, rather than Web audio processes at run time. You'll likely get better sounding results as well as avoid using up additional cpu cycles unnecessarily.

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